An overview of the nine employment structures at the heart of all human resources systems and practices.
In this business book, Flynn (Human Resources Maturity Matrix, 2012) presents a high-level taxonomy of the nine employment systems that describe the practices of nearly every known corporation, from the career system, which promotes from within and assumes long-term employment, to casual employment structures that have more in common with outsourcing than with the career system. After a detailed description of each of the structures in terms of work arrangements, performance measurement, talent management and other key attributes, Flynn concludes with an analysis of the ways such systems can be effectively combined to maximize a corporation’s effectiveness through what he calls the “employment system portfolio,” a compendium of employment systems that a firm designs and uses. The work’s perspective on human resources remains firmly theoretical, and readers will not find specific advice on recruiting strong performers or developing compensation plans. At times, the dispassionate tone seems designed to overlook the human elements of employment systems, as when a disgruntled employee “passively rebalances the wage-effort equation by neglect, i.e., reducing his own effort proportionately”—an accurate but abstract description of dysfunction in the workplace. Readers who understand that the book isn’t intended to cover the day-to-day activities of the HR department, however, will appreciate its presentation of a theoretical model for understanding the functions and values of the different employment structures. The book’s many charts make the information particularly easy to follow, providing a visual format for the hierarchy of employment levels within an occupational system or the standard performance evaluation rubric used in a compliance system. The wide-ranging list of works cited further indicates that Flynn has thoroughly researched this valid theoretical framework that merits the attention of HR professionals.
A detailed theoretical structure of employment systems that provides a context for understanding the functions of HR management.